by November 17, 2001 0 comments

Have an Internet link and are never sure of what bandwidth is being used? A simple solution is MRTG (Multi Router Traffic Grapher). Based on Perl and C, it examines raw Ethernet data from a router, logs it, and draws up wonderful graphs that show you exactly the kind of traffic you’re experiencing. It relies on SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) to capture Ethernet data, but using scripts you can make it graph just about anything. On checking the MRTG website
(, you’ll see that it can monitor anything from the weather and wave movements to CPU load.


Price: Available under GNU General public license
Features: Perl scripts to capture raw Ethernet data, and C program to graph them

A good thing about MRTG is that it is available for both UNIX and Windows NT. It comes with a configuration tool, making it simple to install. Once up and running, the graphs are displayed in a Web page, which you can customize. For a single interface, it can make four detailed graphs for daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly view. The data is managed very cleverly so that it does not constantly grow and become unmanageable, but is purged regularly and kept trim.

In short, MRTG is an invaluable tool that makes the job of monitoring routers, networks and links very easy. And the graphs impress the management as well!

Kishore Bhargava is a Technology Consultant with
Linkaxis Technologies

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